Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for the secretary of state, said his administration would review the US-Taliban deal carefully
Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for the secretary of state, said his administration would review the US-Taliban deal carefully. Blinken, however, added he wasnt privy to it yet.
The statement came during his confirmation ceremony. "We have to look carefully at what has actually been negotiated. I haven't been privy to it yet,” he said. Blinken also said he wasn’t aware of the details of the agreement.
On ending America’s forever war, he said, “We want to end this so-called forever war. We want to bring our forces home.” However, he said he wanted to retain some capacity to deal with the resurgence of terrorism.
Under the US-Taliban deal, signed on 29 February last year in Doha, Qatar, all foreign forces are expected to leave Afghanistan by May 2021. Currently, only 2500 US troops are stationed in Afghanistan.
Earlier, in an article published in Foreign Policy magazine, Joe Biden also favored retaining a small contingent of US forces in Afghanistan for counter-terrorism purposes. However, the Taliban repeatedly called for “strict implementation of the deal, including withdrawal of all foreign forces” ever since Biden won 2020 presidential elections.
On the question of protecting the gains of the last 20 years in Afghanistan, Blinken said, "I don't believe that any outcome that they might achieve is sustainable without protecting the gains that have been made by women and girls in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.”
But he also acknowledged that protecting those gains would not be easy but he would work on it though.
Responding to a query on the status of America’s two-decade-long counter-terrorism fight, Blinken said, “We have made demonstrable progress on counter-terrorism, that there is a relationship between Taliban and al-Qaeda and that it is diminished but there.”